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Developers & Practitioners

The ultimate App Engine cheat sheet

July 2, 2021
Priyanka Vergadia

Staff Developer Advocate, Google Cloud

App Engine is a fully managed serverless compute option in Google Cloud that you can use to build and deploy low-latency, highly scalable applications. App Engine makes it easy to host and run your applications. It scales them from zero to planet scale without you having to manage infrastructure. App Engine is recommended for a wide variety of applications including web traffic that requires low-latency responses, web frameworks that support routes, HTTP methods, and APIs.

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App Engine offers two environments; here’s how to choose one for your application:

  • App Engine Standard - Supports specific runtime environments where applications run in a sandbox. It is ideal for apps with sudden and extreme traffic spikes because it can scale from zero to many requests as needed. Applications deploy in a matter of seconds. If your required runtime is supported and it's an HTTP application, then App Engine Standard is the way to go.
  • App Engine Flex - Is open and flexible and supports custom runtimes because the application instances run within Docker containers on Compute Engine. It is ideal for apps with consistent traffic and regular fluctuations because the instances scale from one to many. Along with HTTP applications it also supports applications requiring WebSockets. The max request timeout is 60 minutes. 

How does it work

No matter which App Engine environment you choose, the app creation and deployment process is the same. First write your code, next specify the app.yaml file with runtime configuration, and finally deploy the app on App Engine using a single command: gcloud app deploy.

Notable features

  • Developer friendly - A fully managed environment lets you focus on code while App Engine manages infrastructure. 
  • Fast responses - App Engine integrates seamlessly with Memorystore for Redis enabling distributed in-memory data cache for your apps.
  • Powerful application diagnostics - Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging help monitor the health and performance of your app and Cloud Debugger and Error Reporting help diagnose and fix bugs quickly. 
  • Application versioning - Easily host different versions of your app, and easily create development, test, staging, and production environments.
  • Traffic splitting - Route incoming requests to different app versions for A/B tests incremental feature rollouts, and similar use cases.
  • Application security - Helps safeguard your application by defining access rules with App Engine firewall and leverage managed SSL/TLS certificates by default on your custom domain at no additional cost.


Whether you need to build a modern web application or a scalable mobile backend App Engine has you covered. For a more in-depth look, check out the documentation. Click here for demos on how to use serverless technology and free hands-on training.
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App Engine in a minute

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